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SHEEP & GOAT OWNERS: UPDATE ON PROPOSAL 90
(BELOW STATEMENT REPRINTED FROM ALASKA FARM BUREAU NEWSLETTER)
The Board of Game DOES have the authority to remove sheep and goats from the “clean list”. The Department of Fish and Game is still recommending they take no action on proposal 90 because the department does not have the authority to permit livestock. It is strongly recommended that we all submit our comments by the March 4th deadline opposing proposal 90.
Comments for proposal 90 and 91 can be submitted here: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=gameboard.main
Here are our comments:
- The health of Alaska’s Dall Sheep population is important, but proposal 90 is an extreme approach to deal with something that has not become an issue in Alaska. There is time to approach this issue in a logical manner and form a plan that fits Alaska, without harming the livestock industry.
- Alaska is not a free grazing state. Between fencing and natural barriers there is a low likelihood of close contact between wild sheep and domestic sheep/goats.
- There is no documentation of Dall Sheep deaths due to contact with livestock.
- We oppose any form of permitting for simply owning livestock – this discussion should be limited to activities in Dall Sheep habitat or near enough that there’s a high probability of close contact.
- The bacteria of concern (M. ovipneumoniae and M. haemolytica) are endemic in wild and domestic populations, disease develops when immune systems become depressed.
- Reductions in Dall Sheep numbers due to disease should factor in multiple stressors: weather, predation, avalanches, lambing, parasite load, age and nutrition.
- There should be a livestock-wildlife working group formed to collaboratively work on issues such as this one.
Please take the time to submit your comments on Proposal 90 and 91